By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
Temperatures for the entire week has neared the 90 degree Fahrenheit mark along the coast and the projection is for continued high temperatures, with no forecast for rain in the coming days. On Sunday, the high in Belize City was around 93 degrees Fahrenheit at around 3:00 p.m.
Temperature records taken since the start of the year have shown that 2015 has been the hottest year since 1879. That, coupled with other factors, manmade included, may well be the cause of the rapid rate of beach erosion happening in Monkey River this year.
Scientist Timo Baur of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) explains that high temperatures can have significant effects on the earth.
“Higher temperatures can have an effect on water levels due to the expansion of the water volume, and the possibility of influx of water from melting ice and glaciers in areas on the globe that are far from Belize, such as the Arctic. Those changed water levels then can have an impact on coastal erosion”, Baur said.
Baur explained that other, often more immediate causes of beach erosion are changed river flows and sediment supply, for example caused by longer term dryness or human activity along rivers and coast, such as larger scale water extraction, dam and reservoir impoundments on rivers, or any other means of substantially changing the flows of rivers that feed in to the area.
“Other possible causes are gravel and sand mining and dredging, the removal of mangroves and other vegetation, changed currents and winds, or storms. It is possibly a combination of several of these factors that has led to the observed erosion”, the climate change expert added.